Speaking  Up for Seniors

Speaking Up for Seniors

By Alison Bailin Batz

Growing up, Ramsey Bergeron watched his father fight diabetes.

“When I was in elementary school, my dad had both feet amputated, went blind and eventually was put on dialysis twice a week,” Bergeron says.

As he watched his father’s health deteriorate, he saw the importance of care and love for someone going through a health crisis as well as the importance of a proactive approach to health and wellness at any age.

“I lost my father when I was just 12 years old, and it took time, but I eventually learned that I did not have to be a prisoner to this same sort of fate. And neither do so many people,” Bergeron says.

A certified personal trainer and eight-time Iron Man, Bergeron moved to the Valley in the mid-2000s and owns Bergeron Personal Training in Scottsdale. His focus through the business is to empower people to wage a proactive war against genetics and other road blocks in the way of their health.

“Trust me, I get it. Beyond my father, I have degenerative disk disease and have had two surgeries to fix ruptured disks in my back,” Bergeron says.

Given this, he also understands the importance of properly rehabilitating injuries and core and stability work.

“Practicing what I preach has allowed me to continue to be a competitive athlete and complete numerous Ironman races in the United States and internationally,” Bergeron says. “And it has also allowed me to take on one of my greatest passions: helping seniors.”

He does this through dedicated commitment to Duet: Partners in Aging, where he serves as a volunteer and board member.

“Duet is a local a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homebound seniors and family caregivers,” Bergeron says.  “It was the first in the Valley, in fact, to offer free-of-charge volunteer services for homebound adults, as well as comprehensive services for family caregivers and grandparents raising grandchildren.”

Like Bergeron, Duet believes in a community where every person ages with compassion, dignity, and hope.

“No one should have to face life’s aging challenges alone. Duet eases the journey by walking alongside the people they serve on the path of caring,” Bergeron says.

Duet offers support groups, information and guided assistance, workshops, a caregiver mentor program and the “Finding Meaning & Hope” video discussion series for caregivers.

For grandparents raising grandchildren, Duet has support groups, respite assistance, outings and legal guidance and assistance.

Duet connects homebound adults with compassionate volunteers who provide free rides to the doctor’s office or grocery store, among other services. Duet also trains nurses to become faith community nurses and helps faith communities launch health programs that benefit their congregations and the communities they serve.

“My role is to help fundraise and increase awareness, as well as recruit volunteers to help us,” Bergeron says. “Oh, and my biggest role at present makes me feel like it is Christmas in July.”

Bergeron jokes, but as a member of the 2019 Poinsettia Tea committee, he is spending the lion’s share of July planning the organization’s 29th annual event, set for December 15 and features scones, finger sandwiches, live music and whimsical desserts.

“‘Arizona Midday’ host Destry Jetton is set to be our emcee, and the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch will be the setting,” Bergeron says. “Right now, our goal is sponsorships and donors for the event as 100% of proceeds will directly help the seniors in this community.” ν

For more information, visit duetaz.org
or call 602-274-5022.